In this episode of The A-Z of Damp from Atlantis Damp & Timber Proofing Specialists, D is for…… Dry Rot.
Dry-rot fungus is often thought of as a building cancer, rampaging through buildings and rapidly destroying any timber in its path! Dry rot can lurk behind the scenes in areas of a property. Unseen, undetected and left untreated dry rot can cause vast amounts of damage to timbers.
Our Cheshire based dry rot specialist, was called out to a property in Warrington after the home-owner had noticed what they believed to be a form of wood decay growing in her wood lined cupboard under her kitchen stairs. From looking at the characteristics of the decay, it was clear to our expert that there was definitely a dry rot outbreak present. However, it wasn’t until our surveyor removed an air brick adjacent to the under stair cupboard that the full extent of the dry rot outbreak was revealed.
Behind the air brick, lay a large fruiting body otherwise known as a sporophore. These fruiting bodies can appear in an array of shapes and sizes dependent on the conditions present. Most of these round-shaped fruiting bodies are a rusty deep red colour (the spores). The outer parts of this growth being a much lighter white colour. Other signs may have included strands – (fibres, that look like small plant roots, dirty off-white to silver grey in colour), or Sheets – called Mycelium – (looks like a dirty off-white skin, can be tinged with yellow. These can be very wet and occasionally found as billowing cushions of off-white growths).
Before any treatments can be made to the affected area it is always important to identify the cause of the dry rot. In this case, it was apparent that the lack of ventilation caused by the use of hardwood to block the air brick was a major contributing factor to the growth of dry rot. This, combined with surrounding damp cavity wall insulation had caused moisture to linger providing an ideal environment for dry rot spores to germinate. Wood rot germinates from spores that have perfect living conditions for growth – such as damp, humid areas with a plentiful food source of cellulose or lignin within timber.
What we did
Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists Ltd used their expertise to ensure that a complete assessment of the problem was carried out. This enabled us to be confident in our diagnosis and recommended solutions.
If you can see signs of timber troubles in your home, don’t delay! Contact us at Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists Ltd. Our expert opinion will ensure accurate diagnosis and solutions to your property problem.